Old age: the crown of life, our play's last act.
--Marcus Tullius Cicero
Tonight, walking along my path over Druid Hills, watching the big, waxing Moon, I let my tongue tease the hole where my left molar once was. There was a lovely gold crown there just weeks ago. I thought the crown would last, that my tooth was protected and would last a lifetime. It did not occur to me, even when the crown fell off in my mouth, that my tooth had been decaying for years, so much so that my dentist, after drilling and charging me over $400. told me there was not enough left worth saving, that it was best to go to a surgeon and have it removed ($800+ more). I had planned to keep that gold crown, but instead must have dropped it or left it somewhere, creating the pun that I lost the same tooth twice.
That is what happened in a more expansive way election night. I lost my faith, or what was left of it, in democracy and in humanity. There is a virtually unseen decay that is happening generally to humanity, and in particular to democracy. It is a decay dark with greed and capitalism. I have felt the spirit of the Cynics before, Diogenes in particular. He saw clearly how dishonest people are, how hypocritical. He didn't fall for the traps most of us do. He had no illusions that things would get better, nor admiration for soldiers who did not lose their hope or perseverance even when they lost wars or saw their buddies killed. He did not console himself with the absurd view of hero gods or of a heaven the streets of which are paved with gold.
I continue to read it over and over. Trump will be booted in 4 years, or if not then, 8 years. Then the progressives, with an army of millennials, will return to rule the White House and the Halls of the Capitol. The golden age of Pericles will always return and there will always be a tooth to crown with gold. Only there won't. Trump is the mud dragon who will devour the planet and guarantee the extinction of the human race, of all the races, not just this one or that. The planet itself will finally heave and free itself of the blight we have become. We are the decay. Humanity is the rotten tooth and Earth will extract it, more quickly than many of us think.
Have faith in Democracy? Have faith in Humanity? Why? The only spirit I have faith in now is the spirit and the life of Nature. The Earth will survive Trump. The Earth will survive our destruction, our greed, our self-absorption, our lies and deceit, our wars. Trump will grab Earth's pussy, but Earth will strike back. That is where my faith remains. And in the meantime, for my final decade or so of life, living on Mother Earth, I shall relish the love I have yet, at least the love that has not decayed, love and friendship which, as Keats put it in Endymion, make up the crown which sits high on the forehead of humanity.